Ensuring employment, decent working conditions and a fair pay on the one side, low prices on the other side: At first look employee and consumer interests seem to be at odds.
While this tension should not be neglected, the reality is more nuanced. In some instances employees and consumers have both been victims of past liberalizations and privatizations and they both suffer from high sells-pressure, e.g. in the financial services market.
In a study which was financed by the German Hans-Böckler-Stiftung ConPolicy investigated how employee and consumer interests are related. In doing so foundation documents of labour unions and consumer organisations were analysed and two case studies were conducted in the telecommunication and electricity markets. The results are presented at a workshop hosted by the DGB (Confederation of German Trade Unions) today. Dr Christian Thorun discusses the results of the study with the member of the executive board of the DGB, Claus Matecki, and the Director of the Federation of German Consumer Organizations, Gerd Billen, and other participants.